Take a Drink: for every fade-out to where there would be a commercial if this were a movie airing on the Lifetime network.
Take a Drink: whenever Carter does that weird thing with his fingers. (character development!)
Take a Drink: for every scene set in the same restaurant.
Take a Drink: The key! The key! Change your locks, dummy!
Take a drink: every time Leah cries.
Chug: during the toothbrush scene.
Take a Drink: every time a cliché from a similar movie is used. Shotgun a beer: at the part that blatantly, and I mean BLATANTLY rips off Sleeping With the Enemy (hint: it’s a line of dialogue.)
Do a Shot: when a character says that Carter may be –wait for it –“The PERFECT GUY!”
By: BabyRuth (Four Beers) –
Because we apparently needed to add yet another movie to the list of Fatal Attraction-esque stalker thrillers, along comes The Perfect Guy. Do I really need to explain the plot of this one? Fine, fire up the Lifetime movie Mad Libs:
The three leads, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, and Morris Chestnut are all very talented and do the best they can with the by-the-numbers script. Ealy clearly relishes the opportunity to play crazy as the not-so-perfect guy, even though his psycho faces and actions drew more chuckles than gasps at the screening I attended.
But damn, those eyes deserve a toast all their own.
The film itself is well-shot and great-looking. So at the very least it looks like a big-budget production, even though it doesn’t necessarily feel like one.
The stalker thriller has
been done so many times that in order for a new addition to stand out it needs to go one of two routes, either by bringing something new to the table or by going completely over-the-top campy, as in the case of the wonderfully tongue-in-cheek The Boy Next Door, which still holds the title of my favorite comedy of 2015. The Perfect Guy does neither, hitting every predictable beat without any sense of self-awareness.
Yup, the ol’ deserted parking garage makes an appearance.
For an erotic thriller, The Perfect Guy is severely lacking in both eroticism and thrills.
Despite its gorgeous and charismatic cast, the film’s PG-13 rating keeps the steaminess-level at actual shower steam, reminiscent of the barely visible hot tub scene in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (speaking of, there’s a great example of an unintentionally hilarious take on the genre).
As for the thrills, well, it’s about as suspenseful as watching a Subway sandwich artist prepare your lunch after you tell them exactly what you would like.
TWIST: the guacamole costs extra!
(You thought I was going to make a Jared joke, didn’t you?)
Usually when a film moves at a brisk pace it’s a good thing, but here it just feels rushed. It’s as if screenwriter Tyger Williams made a checklist of plot points in a half hour on a cocktail napkin and called it a screenplay. There is no dramatic build, no tension, stuff just happens. The one subplot that is dragged out is the fate of Rusty, Leah’s cat. I spent most of the movie being more concerned about that cat than any of the human characters. (Tweet me @BabyRuthCT if you’d like to know if he makes it out alive.)
Just as quickly as the action moves along, nearly every character changes into a completely different person in a single scene. Carter morphs from a smooth-talking puppy dog into a batshit sociopath in a matter of moments. Leah’s damsel-in-distress becomes a fearless vigilante literally over a cup of coffee. Commitment-phobe first ex-boyfriend Dave (Morris Chestnut) reappears later in the film as the real-perfect-guy-all-along for no reason other than the movie calling for it.
“I’m back baby. Forget everything I said before.”
The timing is also hard to follow. I think the events are supposed to occur over several months, but it feels like it takes place in two weeks.
The Perfect Guy isn’t like a Lifetime movie, it is a Lifetime movie. There are even fade-outs to where commercial breaks would be. It’s all very lazy and frustrating to watch, especially with the game cast and glossy Hollywood aesthetics which suggest that with a better story, this could have been a decent film. Or at least an entertaining one, if it went all the way full-on camp. Instead, it stays smack dab in comfortable (and boring) mediocrity.
Special shout-out to the person at my screening who attempted to get a round of applause going not once, but twice during the credits. Congrats David M. Rosenthal! I found the one person who has never seen one of these movies before!
For everyone else, watch this instead: